Author Archives: Jeff Karlsen

This Friday, November 20 in LR105, be part of International Games Day @ Your Library from 1-5 pm. An assortment of games, including Timeline, Star Fluxx, Sushi Go, Munchkin: Treasure Hunt, Trophy Buck, EcoFluxx and Choose One, will be on hand and ready to play!
International Games Day @ Your Library

This is a world-wide event. So join the global community and get your game on this Friday! Students, faculty, staff are all welcome.

Library display. Poster says "I can't remember the title, but the cover was blue."
Librarians hear this sort of thing a lot. In fact, as I was starting to write this, a student told me that he couldn’t remember a book’s title or author but could picture it in his mind. At first it’s funny, because you can’t search our catalogs by color. But then, books have covers for a reason (even if you can’t judge a book by its cover, though we all know that sometimes you can).

Blue might not be mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey, but it gets around the English language. Take a look at the Oxford English Dictionary entry—it’s an endless scroll, encompassing melancholy, obscenity, sensuality, surprise.

So, whatever your mood as skies get greyer this month, stop by and check out a blue book from our display on the second floor of the LRC.

Michael Graves, buildings and projects, 1995-2003. edited by Karen Nichols Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThe death and life of the great American school system : how testing and choice are undermining education by Diane Ravitch

Imagining Black America by Michael Wayne. Edible : an adventure into the world of eating insects and the last great hope to save the planet by Daniella Martin Blasphemy by Sherman AlexieUkraine : an illustrated history by Paul Robert Magocsi.

Here’s a list of titles included in our November Blue books display:

Continue reading

It’s time to buckle down and make progress on those research papers.

OneSearch, Los Rios Libraries

If you’re doing research, you’re probably spending some time in OneSearch, which is our main tool for finding books, articles and other library content.

So let’s cover a few tips here.

1. Understand how keywords work

Google makes us lazy; we can type any garbage we like into it and it seems to know more or less what we meant.

Google search for: where are tho hamtsers who eat tacos. Spelling corrected, includes relevant results about burritos

Library search tools are much more literal. All they do is match words. So, if you include a keyword and it’s not in the title or abstract or subjects—the item won’t show. That’s why:

 a search for methods of preventing domestic violence against women brings fewer than 40 results

Too many words! Plenty of articles on that subject don’t have some the words “method” or “against”, so they don’t show in results. Compare:

Query domestic violence prevention programs brings 4,000 results

Your keywords need to match content in the source, so start with just a few and add on!

2. Limit your results by format

By default, OneSearch will show you all different kinds of content. But what if you’re not interested in articles, and are only looking for books you can check out?

Don’t overwork your retina scanning the page. Instead, use the Books & Videos on Library Shelves limiter.

Books & Videos on Library Shelves limiter in OneSearch

Once you’ve done that, most of your results will be books. Were you told you need to find scholarly articles? You can limit to Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals. Check out the Source Types area for other options.

3. Email yourself ebook chapters

We have been plugging ebooks lately and for good reason—thousands of recently published academic titles are waiting for your attention.

Sometimes it’s not totally clear what to do with these, though. You can read them page by page online but that can be inconvenient. Sometimes the easiest thing is to email yourself a chapter. When you’re in the book, click Email Pages, then look for something labeled This section.

Email chapter of EBSCO ebook
There’s a limit to how many pages you can email yourself at a time, but usually a chapter or two is short enough. If you hit the limit, try later that day and you’ll find that the limit has been reset.

4. Save formatted citations

Is it fun making a Works Cited page? Maybe! But event then, you might want some help. When looking at an article, you’ll see a Cite link; click that and look what happens.

But wait, there’s more. If you’ve used EBSCO databases at all you probably have emailed yourself articles. Well take a look at the options on the email form and you’ll see that there’s something labeled Citation Format.

Email MLA citation in EBSCO record

What could it mean?

The citations aren’t always perfect, but they’re a good start. Remember, we’ve got citation tips over at our Research Guides page.

5. Don’t get frustrated by bad links

One of the things OneSearch does is bring together a bunch of different databases. So you’ll see links to JSTOR, ScienceDirect and others in your search results. Usually these links work, but sometimes…

404 page in ScienceDirect
Ask a Librarian - Live ChatDon’t despair! If a link appeared, usually it means that we do have the article, even if the link itself fails. So in that case you can click the Ask a Librarian icon and ask us to get you the article.

In general, use Ask A Librarian whenever you’re having problems—we’re here to help.

Belorusian writer Svetlana Alexievich has won this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature. Alexievich, who writes in Russian, is one of the few to win the Nobel on the basis of non-fiction writing.

Borrow her major translated work, Voices from Chernobyl, from the SCC Library. Or read an excerpt from it at The Paris Review.
Voices from Chernobyl book jacket

This semester we launched a new version of OneSearch, which provides access to our book & media collection and most of our research databases. I could tell you all about what it does and how to use it, but our friends at the Cosumnes River College Library made a video that does a much better job, in a very short amount of time, than I could hope to do. Enjoy! And tell your friendly librarians how you’re using it.

OneSearch logoOver the last few months, the library has been working on a new look and feel for OneSearch, the tool that provides access our books, videos, and a large chunk of our online databases. OneSearch has been very widely used at SCC for the last couple years; when you do a search from the library homepage using the “All” tab, that’s where you end up.

You can now preview the new version of OneSearch. When you do a search from the library home page, you’ll see a link asking if you want to go to the new version. Click it, and you’ll get there.

You’ll find several new features aimed at improving access to our locally held books & videos. Searching for textbooks on reserve? Click the “Find Textbooks on Reserve” link at the top of the screen to launch special search form similar to the one you find on the library website. Want to text a call number to yourself? From a book’s page, click the “Share” icon next to the call number and you’ll be able to do so.

We’ll be continuing to work on the new OneSearch through the summer. In the Fall semester, we’ll be sending the older library catalog (often known as “LOIS”) into semi-retirement. So let us know what you think of OneSearch! After you’ve used it for a little, you’ll get a survey prompt. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

We are currently providing trial access to Statista, a site that compiles statistics from various sources and presents them in visually arresting ways. Many of the stats have a business angle, but variety is the key word here. Some examples:

You get the idea.

You can easily toggle between different kinds of charts, and then download a high-quality image, PDF or PowerPoint slide, or export the data as an Excel file.

Where does the info come from? According to Statista,

data sources include market research reports, such as the Ipsos Affluent Survey published annually by Ipsos Media, Simmons National Consumer Studies and Consumer Insights from Scarborough Research, as well as trade publications, scientific journals, and government databases.

Threshold for Herd Immunity for Select Diseases 2013

What do you think? Let a librarian know. You can find it through March 27 on our Research Databases page, or click below.

Go to Statista

We’ve got you covered. The library has a copy of most of your required textbooks at the Circulation Desk.  (Find them in the Library Catalog.)   If your instructor approves the use of an older edition of the textbook, the library has some previous editions on the third floor of the Library. These older textbooks check out for three weeks.

Library catalog textbook search

The Library has copiers that can print a page or two or save those pages to your USB. If you need assistance searching for course materials, ask a librarian at the Research Help Desk.

Still strained financially? There are numerous sites where you can purchase a book at a discount or rent a book for the semester. The price may be half what it costs to buy the book new, and you can sometimes sell it back.

Take advantage of this list of sites to purchase and rent textbook materials:Student finding books on Library third floor

Classes start Saturday! The library will be open its regular Saturday hours, 9 am – 3 pm. A few things to remember:

  • If you are looking for your textbook, the best way to see if we’ve got it is to fill out our online form. If we have a copy, it is most likely on 2-hour reserve. You need to grab the call number and bring it to the Circulation Desk. Ask a librarian if you need help.
  • You must have a Student Access (ID) Card in order to check out books. Don’t have one yet? On Saturday the 17th you can get one from 7 – 2:30 on the first floor of the LRC. You can also do it earlier in the week at City Café. For the full schedule, see the calendar (PDF file). To get your Access card and be eligible to check out books, you must be in at least one class (not just on a waiting list).
  • Be patient. Things can be very hectic early in the semester. We are really doing our best to help you get started with the semester, but sometimes there are delays, so try to keep a cool head!

Robin perched on bare branch